Last update Feb. 11, 2019



Safe substance and/or breastfeeding is the best option.

Euphorbiaceae is a family of plants found in tropical zones with more than 7,000 different species, with differing composition, properties and traditional uses.

Two of these species, Euphorbia lancifolia or Ixbut in Mayan language, originated in Central America (Botanical 2018, Castle 2014, Rosengarten1982), and Euphorbia hirta or dudhi, native to India (Kumar 2010, Rajith, 2010, Sayed 2007), are traditionally attributed galactogogue effects, which has not been confirmed by any scientific studies.

Ixbut is widely used in Guatemala and several Mesoamerican countries as a galactogogue (Botanical 2018, Castle 2014).
Studies of ixbut in general and of its galactogogue properties are very rare, old and have poor methodology (Castillo 2014).
An experimental study, which was well done but had few cases, showed that although mothers taking ixbut felt they had higher milk production, there were no significant variations in the quantity or composition of the milk produced (Tzapín 2005).
Ixbut is rich in calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C, iron and fibre (Rosengarten1982).

Euphorbia hirta (dudhi) can cause gastrointestinal irritation if consumed in excess (Bhatia 2014).

These plants are widely used in several cultures, even during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Given the lack of toxicity at the right dose, moderate consumption would be compatible with breastfeeding.

The best galactogogue is frequent on demand breastfeeding with correct technique in a mother who is self-confident (ABM 2018 y 2011, Mannion 2012, Forinash 2012).

Precautions when taking plant preparations:
1. Ensure that they are from reliable source: poisoning has occurred due to confusion of one plant with another with toxic properties, poisonings from heavy metals that are extracted from the soil and food poisoning due to contamination with bacteria or fungi (Anderson 2017).
2. Do not take too much; follow recommendations from experienced phytotherapy professionals. "Natural" products are not good in any quantity: plants contain active substances from which a large part of our traditional pharmacopoeia has been obtained and can cause intoxication or act as endocrine disruptors (they contain phytoestrogens: Powers 2015, Zava 1998) if they are taken in exaggerated quantities or over extended time periods.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Euphorbia in other languages or writings:


Euphorbia belongs to this group or family:


  1. Botanical on Propiedades de la planta Ixbut (Euphorbia lancifolia) para la lactancia. Botanical-online 2018 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. ABM: Brodribb W. ABM Clinical Protocol #9: Use of Galactogogues in Initiating or Augmenting Maternal Milk Production, Second Revision 2018. Breastfeed Med. 2018 Jun;13(5):307-314 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. Anderson PO. Herbal Use During Breastfeeding. Breastfeed Med. 2017 Abstract
  4. Powers CN, Setzer WN. A molecular docking study of phytochemical estrogen mimics from dietary herbal supplements. In Silico Pharmacol. 2015 Mar 22;3:4. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. Castillo Chupina, Claudia Mishele. Conocimiento y práctica en el uso del Ixbut. Fraijanes, Guatemala. Universidad Rafael Landívar, Guatemala. Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud. Licenciatura en Medicina Tesis de grado. 2014 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  6. Bhatia H, Manhas RK, Kumar K, Magotra R. Traditional knowledge on poisonous plants of Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir, India. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 Abstract
  7. Mannion C, Mansell D. Breastfeeding self-efficacy and the use of prescription medication: a pilot study. Obstet Gynecol Int. 2012;2012:562704. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. Forinash AB, Yancey AM, Barnes KN, Myles TD. The use of galactogogues in the breastfeeding mother. Ann Pharmacother. 2012 Oct;46(10):1392-404. Abstract
  9. ABM. Comité de Protocolos de la Academia Médica de Lactancia Materna. ABM Protocolo Clínico #9: Uso de Galactogogos para Iniciar o aumentar la tasa de secreción de Leche Materna. Breastfeed Med. 2011 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  10. Kumar S, Malhotra R, Kumar D. Euphorbia hirta: Its chemistry, traditional and medicinal uses, and pharmacological activities. Pharmacogn Rev. 2010 Abstract
  11. Rajith NP, Navas M, Muhammad Thata A, Manju MJ, Anish N, Rajasekharan S, George V. A study on traditional mother care plants of rural communities of South Kerala. Indian J Tradit Knowl. 2010 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  12. Sayed NZ, Deo R, Mukundan U. Herbal remedies used by Warlis of Dahanu to induce lactation in nursing mothers. Indian J Tradit Knowl. 2007 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  13. Tzapín Chan, Maude Lausana. Efecto del consumo de ixbut Euphorbia lancifolia schlecht sobre la densidad y el volumen de la leche materna. Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, facultad de Ciencas químicas y Farmacia, escuela de Nutricion. Tesis doctoral. 2005 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  14. Zava DT, Dollbaum CM, Blen M. Estrogen and progestin bioactivity of foods, herbs, and spices. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1998 Abstract
  15. Rosengarten F Jr. A neglected Mayan galactagogue - ixbut (Euphorbia lancifolia). J Ethnopharmacol. 1982 Abstract

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